Council Grove’s Voices of the Wind People Pageant

(Frank) Again, here we are. Hills. (Deb) Hills, hills. Speaking of hills, of course the Flint Hills, one of the prettiest sections of Kansas, and this will be a great weekend to enjoy the Flint Hills down at Council Grove, which is one of my very favorite places in Kansas. I have very good friends down there and Mary Honeyman who used to be at the Kaw Mission and Marc Brooks who is there now and of course we’ve got Frank and Judy Goodrich who’ll be putting me and the Doc up this weekend for the events down there and Sharon Haun is in charge of the Voices of the Wind People Pageant and so I got to know Sharon I guess through that pageant a few years ago. And if you’ve never been to see the pageant, you won’t believe it, you just won’t believe what it takes to put this entire thing together and it’s a pageant in the real sense of the word. You got horses and wagons and mules and stuff and our mules, Minnie and Pearl will be there pulling the stage coach. (Frank) Yes, we had a cabin at the City Lake there in Council Grove a number of years in our younger days. (Deb) Isn’t that pretty? (Frank) Yes, and it’s a wonderful place. There are two lakes there: the State Lake and then the City Lake but also they have the Hays House, we have to mention the Hays House which has been around for, what now, a hundred and–? (Deb) Since 1850 something. Seth Hays is a descendant of Daniel Boone and of course I grew up in Daniel Boone stomping grounds in western North Carolina, Virginia. He came from Pennsylvania originally, wound up in Missouri and his descendants were all over Kansas. So one son or grandson was an Indian agent here to the Kaw and it was just a phenomenal history. And Seth Hays is one of the characters in the play because he is so important to the history of Council Grove. And we got our great friends at the Cottage House and the Trail’s End Cafe and we got friends all over Council Grove. (Frank) It’s a great little town. It really is. (Deb) It’s beautiful, so stay tuned and come see us this weekend. It wasn’t very long after the Louisiana Purchase that the Santa Fe Trail brought traffic to what would become Morris County and Council Grove. The grand backdrop of the Flint Hills would become the setting of the quintessential story of westward expansion, the clash of the Euro and Native Americans. The Voices of the Wind People Pageant was conceived to provide the public with a historically accurate account of that conflict in the historic setting where those events occurred, where those people actually lived. The two main pageant characters, Chief Allegawaho, Kanza (Kaw) Chief and Seth Hays, Council Grove’s first Euro-American resident, narrate this compelling story. The first production was in 1992, with performances in 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014. The performances take place in the old Neosho riverbed near the historic downtown and adjacent to the Santa Fe Trail crossing of the Neosho River. The production incorporates historic photos, images of the prairie landscape, and video images with the live-action of a pack train, wagon train, stagecoach, riders on horseback, tepees and the campfire of a Kanza village. Approximately 45-50 members of the Kaw Nation, who once lived in the Council Grove area, return to participate in this production. They provide the principal narration of Chief Allegawaho, enact village scenes, and perform dramatic roles and traditional dances. The production of Voices of the Wind People requires the involvement of at least 125 people, and is accomplished by volunteer staff and performers. The more than four thousand volunteer hours logged during each pageant reflect the passion of those volunteers for sharing this important moment in time. We think you will agree that the pageant resulting from their hard work and passion is magnificent. Coinciding with the Council Grove Fall Festival, the pageant will be the highlight of activities, displays, shopping, and dining in one of the most picturesque settings along the Santa Fe Trail.
(Frank) Hey, we’ve got to go. I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) And we will see you somewhere (Frank and Deb) Around Kansas.